Girls Academies

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Girls’ Academies


educational institutions that existed in prerevolutionary Russia. They were divided into three types: Maria academies, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Institutions of the Empress Maria, academies of the Ministry of Public Education, and eparchial academies under the jurisdiction of the Synod.

Maria girls’ academies Maria girls’ academies were of two types. (1) Secondary girls’ educational institutions that were formed in 1858 through the initiative of the progressive Russian educator N. A. Vyshnegradskii; they were renamed girls’ Gymnasiums in 1862. (2) Girls’ educational institutions that charged tuition and had a four-year term of study and were intended for girls from the lower strata of society; the first ones opened in 1887 (the first in St. Petersburg in 1882). The course of studies included religion, the Russian language, arithmetic, the geography and history of Russia, science, penmanship, singing, needlework, painting, and drawing.

Academies of the Ministry of Public Education. The academies under the Ministry of Public Education were girls’ educational institutions set up under the Statute of 1858. They were divided into six-year academies (the first rank) and three-year academies (the second rank). In accordance with the statute, their goal was “to give the pupils the religious, moral, and intellectual education that should be required of every woman, particularly the future mother of a family.”

Required subjects in academies of the first rank were religion, the Russian language, arithmetic, geometry, physics, geography, natural history, history, penmanship, painting, and needlework. Those of the second rank taught religion, Russian grammar, a short course in Russian history and geography, the principles of arithmetic, penmanship, and needlework. The academies subsisted chiefly on the donations of private persons and local merchants’ and petit bourgeois societies. In 1870 they were renamed Gymnasium and Progymnasiums.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.